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Old May 4th, 2009, 08:36 PM
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Default ALASKA VIRGINS

We got a great price to sail on Diamond Princess 9-5-09 - we have never been to Alaska. This is the Voyage of the Glaciers southbound from Whittier.

Any hints / must see excurscions? Cant afford the land - sea cruise tours.

Thanks in advance!
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Old May 4th, 2009, 09:35 PM
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You can go online and look at the different excursions offered in each port. Decide what you really want to do/see and start booking them. The cruise itself is wonderful, but you need to get out of the ports a bit and see the surrounding areas, glaciers, etc.

What are your ports?
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Old May 5th, 2009, 10:52 AM
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Thanks Donna,

The ports are Whittier, College Fjord, Skagway, Juneau and Ketikan. We're flying home from Seattle in lieu of Vancouver - much cheaper for us. Any hints on bus transports?

I know there are tons of things to see - but I'm curious about what other people have done - wondering what is the most popular.

Also - any hints on what to pack? I'm worried about not packing the right things for cooler weather. I've done lots of warm weather cruises - but this is a first for me.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 04:11 PM
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First rule of thumb for packing for an Alaska cruise, is you will be wearing layers, so pack t-shirts and sweat shirts. Don't forget any rain gear, you're bound to run into a bit of that.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: ALASKA VIRGINS

Quote:
Originally Posted by sistagoldenhair
We got a great price to sail on Diamond Princess 9-5-09 - we have never been to Alaska. This is the Voyage of the Glaciers southbound from Whittier.

Any hints / must see excurscions? Cant afford the land - sea cruise tours.

Thanks in advance!
Hi sistagoldenhair,

One hint is to sit on the right hand side of the bus or train as you make the trip from Anchorage to Whittier. The views of Turnagainarm are just outstanding as you make your way down to Whittier.

One of my favorite things to do is to rent a car in Skagway and drive to Emerald Lake. The scenery along the way is some of the best in the world. The round trip takes about 4 hours, not including picture taking stops (there are many!). AVIS does have an office in Skagway, but make reservations early if you want to try this, as they do sell out early.

The whale watching cruises in Juneau are excellent.

Hope this helps.

Debra
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Old May 8th, 2009, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sistagoldenhair
Thanks Donna,

The ports are Whittier, College Fjord, Skagway, Juneau and Ketikan. We're flying home from Seattle in lieu of Vancouver - much cheaper for us. Any hints on bus transports?

There is bus lines that go to Seattle.
1 - Greyhound ( downtown to downtown)
2 - Quckcoach (http://www.quickcoach.com/) it leaves directly from the
piers and goes to the Seattle Airport


I know there are tons of things to see - but I'm curious about what other people have done - wondering what is the most popular.

If you don't like to drive take a tour from the ship. There is a ship tour that takes you one-way on the train and back by bus.
Someone suggested to drive . I've been told that the fog up in the pass
can be so thick you can't even see the lines on the road


Also - any hints on what to pack? I'm worried about not packing the right things for cooler weather. I've done lots of warm weather cruises - but this is a first for me.
T
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Old May 9th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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Thanks - the more I read about my Alaska cruise, the more excited I am!!! The pics I looked at online are just breath-taking. Does anyone know if the Northern Lights are visable in Sept?
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Old May 9th, 2009, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sistagoldenhair
Thanks - the more I read about my Alaska cruise, the more excited I am!!! The pics I looked at online are just breath-taking. Does anyone know if the Northern Lights are visable in Sept?
The nights are still to bright to see the northern lights in Sept. You might see them but very unlikely. The best time for northern lights is from Nov to Apr.
Basically during the winter because of low light levels.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 11:24 AM
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And I'm pretty sure there is a full moon that week - so even brighter. I'm sure will be beautiful regardless..
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Old May 10th, 2009, 01:45 PM
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Default Shuttle and land tours

This may help to keep pricing down.

I am taking the Diamond Princess round trip from Vancouver, the flight into Whittier is approximate 50% higher.

http://www.alaskatransportation.net/rates.html
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Old May 16th, 2009, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Shuttle and land tours

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Originally Posted by Dannyboy
This may help to keep pricing down.

I am taking the Diamond Princess round trip from Vancouver, the flight into Whittier is approximate 50% higher.

http://www.alaskatransportation.net/rates.html
That's a good plan but I don't hve an extra weeks vacation. One week is all we can do.

Good idea though.

Bill
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Old May 16th, 2009, 06:46 PM
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I'm doing the same cruise the week before on Sapphire. I have never been to Alaska, but have studied it quite a bit in the last year.

Have you checked the shore excursions online through the cruise line? That would be a start, you would get a feeling what is out there.

Is there something that interests you? I usually travel to places to get the 'flavor' of the territory.

Let me know if you would like to know my itinerary. I am an amature photographer and love to travel.

Sweet Sailing!
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Old May 17th, 2009, 11:35 AM
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Hi Peg,

I did check out the tours Princess has to offer. I think I'm going to go on the dog- sled tour and the gold panning also interests me. There seems like there is so much to do and see. Trying to narrow it down. I also like the idea of checking out the "local flavor". There was a show on the Travel Channel not to long ago and it highlighted several saloons and shopping in town - a good way to check out local flavor I'm thinking.

I hear Alaska is a photogrophers "heaven".... bring lots of memory cards!!
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Old May 17th, 2009, 01:44 PM
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You have to go to the Red Dog Saloon in Ketchikan ? . It is right beside the pier near the ship . Get in line early if you want to go . Usually about a 30 min wait.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 04:54 PM
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Local beer flavor....yes Doopy

Sister, I'm doing a week on land as well. After reading many books, I wrote down a list of what I really wanted to do in Alaska and dogsledding was one of them! A gold mine tour with panning was included in my land tour.

It took a while, but I narrowed down what I absolutely wanted to do and then found out what was offered at each port. Once that was done, I had to coordinate port times vs. excursion times and see what would fit where.

I am exhausted. I need a vacation. My memory cards will hold 2000 pictures. Not enough, as I just took 421 in a six hour period two days ago.

Hope you have a fabulous time!

ps. I LOVE the Travel Channel.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 07:39 PM
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Wow - 2000 pics? I'm not much of a picture taker - even on vacation. I usually take a few with my phone. But for this trip, I am dusting off my digital camera and plan on taking lots!

I was wondering if anyone knows if they have a sail - away party on this cruise? We are sailing at 9:30pm - we have late seating dinner at 8:30. Would they not have a sail away party because its so late in the evening? I love sail aways and would hate to miss one because of dinner.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: ALASKA VIRGINS

Quote:
Originally Posted by sistagoldenhair
We got a great price to sail on Diamond Princess 9-5-09 - we have never been to Alaska. This is the Voyage of the Glaciers southbound from Whittier.

Any hints / must see excurscions? Cant afford the land - sea cruise tours.

Thanks in advance!
We did back to back cruises on the Saphire Princess last Aug/Sept. Did all of our tours off the ship and saved between 20 &30% off the ship Tours. As it is the end of the season there are many deals on shore.

We did the railway in Skagway, Great trip.

Juneau we did the Taku Flight and Lodge on a sea plane, you fly over the glacier and land on the river in front of the lodge, saw bears and hiked to the water fall. The served a great Salmon bake for lunch. 3 hours later the sea plane came back and picked us up.

Ketchican we did Whale watching it was Ok but we saw a better whale display in Glacier bay ritht off the bow of the ship, a Humpback breached and dances for over 5 minutes and all in view from the deck. So my sugestion is to watch for the foot prints as you enter Glacier Bay. Maybe you will get lucky also as that is the time they are heading south for the winter.
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